Friday, September 7, 2012

42. Starters

Book #42: Starters
Author: Lissa Price
Published: March 13, 2012
352 Pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined.

A dystopian Cinderella story. What more could I ask for? A poor girl who is trying to make ends meet and care for her sick brother takes the only opportunity she can find: selling her body to Enders, first generation society members who want to be young again. Sounds perfect, right? Sleep for a month then wake up with loads of cash. Too good to be true. When Callie goes under, something goes wrong and she ends up in the her own body but living in the Ender's world. She lives the high life: parties, mansions, fast cars and good food. But when pretending to be someone else, things can get rough. She soon finds out that her renter had plans of her own for Callie's body and Callie needs to get to the end of the problem before she can even think about going home to her brother. Throw in a nice boy, an evil controlling company, and nothing being what it seems, and you've got the makings of a great novel.

Price builds a world that is both believable and fun. There isn't much explanation to the Spore Wars or why they killed off everyone between the ages of 20 and 60, but I let it slide because Callie's story is perfect. She is brave and selfless, willing to do whatever it takes to make sure her brother has a good life. She makes the wrong choices and puts herself in terrible situations, but always finds a way to overcome everything for the sake of her brother. Callie stands out among strong heroines and I'm glad I had the chance to read her story. Her younger brother is innocent and loveable, and I found myself hoping he'd survive just as much as Callie was. Her friend Michael, whom she's lived with on the streets since her parents died, cares for both of them and you can see his devastation when Callie decides to go to Prime Destinations. And Blake, the senator's grandson, is perfect. He is thoughtful and kind to Callie and has a way of being in the right place at the right time. I fell for him as quickly as Callie did, fro good reason. 

I can't wait to read more from this series, with the sequel, Enders. A lot happened with Prime Destinations that makes me wonder what Callie will be able to do to save others like her who are having their bodies rented out. Not all of them are doing it willingly. The plot is fast-paced and gripping, keeping me wanting to turn the page and desperate for more time to be added to my clock so I could keep reading. There are many unanswered questions that just keep me wanting more. I highly recommend this for any fans of sci-fi, dystopian or even fairytales as I'm sure they will love the story. Price has created a unique world that just begs to be discovered. The big question is, would I sell my body to save my family? And my answer would have to be yes, even if I did end up in the same sticky situation as Callie. Let's hope it means I wouldn't die, but I'll have to wait for the sequel to know for sure.

“Did Cinderella ever consider fessing up to the prince, that night she was enjoying herself in the fancy ball gown? Did she even think of telling him, oh, by the way, Prince, the coach isn’t mine, I’m really a filthy little barefoot servant on borrowed time? No. She took her moment. And then went quietly away after midnight.”

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